Hundreds of thousands: A high volume of testing for COVID-19 in Victoria is one of the measures authorities are using to judge the effectiveness of the pandemic fight. Photo: FILE

COVID-19 state of emergency extended

May 31, 2020 BY

THE State government has announced that the current state of emergency in Victoria aimed at controlling the COVID-19 pandemic will be extended by three weeks.

Now set to run until 21 June at a minimum, the order’s extension comes after several restrictions were eased recently, with many changes to come into effect on Monday.

“Victorians will no doubt welcome the further easing of restrictions from tomorrow, but our coronavirus fight is far from over,” said Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos.

“Keeping the state of emergency in place will ensure we have the tools we need to keep Victorians safe.”

“This is the biggest public health challenge we’ve faced in our lifetimes, and we need all Victorians to keep doing their bit by continuing to follow the directions of the chief health officer and working from home if they can.”

The state of emergency allows authorities, at the direction of Victoria’s chief health officer, to enforce a range of restrictions and processes aimed at curbing the spared of COVID-19.

They include limiting the number of people allowed to gather in certain places, while mid-last week Premier Daniel Andrews announced that working from how was being added to the CHO’s directions.

“Victorians have done a great job sticking to the coronavirus restrictions, their actions have saved countless lives,” said Victorian chief health officer Professor Brett Sutton

“We know restrictions can be frustrating, but they are working. It’s vital we continue to follow these directions to keep our community transmission numbers low and protect more Victorians.”

Penalties for not following directions during the state of emergency include on the spot fines that can go as high as $1652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses.

People who don’t comply could also be taken to court and receive a fine of up to $20,000, while companies face fines of up to $100,000.